The Port of Rotterdam today closed the final gap in a near seven-mile long seawall, reclaiming almost 5,000 acres of land from the North Sea that will house Europe’s largest new ocean container terminal complex.
Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands gave the sign to seal off the seawall, changing the Dutch coastline forever.
“After three and a half years of hard work, today we reached a major milestone. The seawall around [the] Maasvlakte 2 [container port] has been closed and these 2,000 hectares of new Netherlands are properly protected against the sea,” said Port of Rotterdam Authority CEO Hans Smits.
The land area of the port has increased by 20 percent and the coastline is about 2.2 miles further into the sea, Smits said.
The Maasvlakte 2 container and distribution complex, with an annual capacity of 8.5 million 20-foot equivalent units, will consolidate Rotterdam’s position as Europe’s top container port at a time when it is facing a serious challenge from second ranked Hamburg.
The DP World-led Rotterdam World Gateway consortium that includes four ocean carriers – MOL, CMA CGM, Hyundai and APL – will open a $1.5 billion, 4 million TEUs-a-year-terminal on the Maasvlakte 2 in 2013.
APM Terminals is scheduled to start operations at a rival 4.5 million TEUs-a-year facility a year later.
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